Will the Global Economy Help or Hurt The Next Generation of Americans?


Will the global economy help or hurt the next generation of Americans?
This is the question I am going to investigate in this paper. The global economy
is the system pertaining to the production, distribution and consumption of
goods and services around the globe. It is important that we understand the
global economy because it is and will be affecting the way we learn, work and
live. How all of these factors are affected will be discussed in the following
paper.
I take the position that the global economy will hurt the next
generation of Americans.
One argument for this position is that our schools are not adequately
preparing out students for the types of new work that will be required in the
next generation. American schools are using teaching techniques that taught
existed in the 1950\'s. Textbooks date back to the early 1970\'s. Requirements may
have changed but our reaching techniques have not. Every year, students take the
same courses with the same prerequisite: A good memory. True, they are teaching
classes that are essential to get into a good college but are they teaching the
skills that our future generation will need? Are students going to be able to
problem solve? Are today\'s students going to be able to access tomorrow\'s
information? Our schools teach American students to be good at memorization. To
be able to spit out recorded information. "You do have the knowledge but you are
basically robots with skin; machines, tape recorders that teachers use to record
their information. At the end of a chapter, they rewind you and press the \'play\'
button to see if you can repeat everything they said."1 Also, our schools are
not stressing the importance of math and science. Because of this fact, foreign
born workers such as engineers are taking over the jobs American workers could
have. Our students need to be truly smart because memorized skills can only go
so far. Grades cannot always determine the real skills of the students. Anybody
can receive a diploma but what do these grades really mean? Not much unless a
student can apply their memorized skills for the new way of work. "Just possibly
we have a surplus of graduates and a scarcity of real skills."2 The improvement
of our educational system, not the number of degrees we hand out, is the only
way the next generation can thrive in the global economy.
An objection to this position is that our school system is preparing our
students in the best way possible. First, we really can\'t blame the schools for
lack of supplies or updated technology. Quite possibly our teachers are the ones
who are not prepared and we certainly can\'t expect schools to do everything.
School is simply a basis for learning. "The true inputs to education are
students, hard work, quality teaching and rigorous standards and parental
engagement. When these are missing money and reorganization can\'t compensate."3
Also grades in some ways do represent how ambitious a student is about school
and whether they get work done on time both of which are qualities of a good
worker. High schools in the United States are better than you think. " In the
most recent international comparison of reading, which was done in 31 nations,
American kids finished second to Finland."4 "We have an evolutionary process
where we are getting better and better..."5
Yet the following argument can reply to the latter objection. Our
schools may be better than we think but are they good enough to prepare our
students for the new way of work? What I mean by this is being able to use
technology, apply real life skills and think on their own. Reading and math
skills may be second out of 31 nations but what you may not know is "23% of
Americans don\'t finish high school compared to Japans 2%"6 Also, "American
students attend school the least amount of days (180 in fact) compared to other
economically strong countries such as Britain\'s 192 days, Japan\'s 243 and
Germany\'s 290 days."7 So, we have the highest drop out rate and we spend the
least amount of time in school. These numbers could explain why our students are
behind intellectually with other countries. This could mean our economy may
suffer as well. What can we do to improve this though? Already, more colleges
are "lowering admission standards so more kids will attend"8. This means our
students can pick their schools and school will compete for good students. If we
use more technology